Oftentimes, one specialist is responsible for forecasting the sales of an entire company. These specialists are then responsible for making sure that the sales forecasts are met. Sales specialists are experts in selling particular products and services. These sales specialists make sure that companies remain profitable by continually searching out and performing sales calls to new customers.
In order to effectively sell a product, thorough knowledge of that product is often needed. Therefore, many salesmen develop an expertise in a particular area of business in order to more effectively sell products and services. With this knowledge, the sales specialist can clearly explain to customers the usage of the products that are sold. These sales specialists drive sales in accordance to the projected sales forecasts. They must also be aware of market changes and demographics. The sales specialist must keep track of all sales call data, customer objectives and communication responses so that sales calls can be more effectively tailored towards the needs of the customers, according to AstraZeneca. Marketing strategies must be developed by the sales specialists, such as webinars and customer days. Cold calls also must be made, according to IBM.
Sales specialists are usually traveling to meet with customers, make presentations to companies and perform a variety of sales events such as product demonstrations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, 80 percent of sales specialists worked 40 hours a week or more.
A sales specialist usually needs a bachelor’s degree. Some businesses such as AstraZeneca will hire sales specialists with any degree. Companies such as IBM require that sales specialists have a couple of years of experience. Sales specialists must be willing to continually learn about products that are released by the company they work for. Sales specialists are often expected to function independently, so they must be self-motivated. Communication and interpersonal skills are essential since sales specialists must be able to build working relationships with customers and clearly explain the products and services that are being sold. They must also have judgment and problem solving skills.
The need for sales managers is expected to grow by 15 percent between 2008 and 2018. This growth is driven by increased competition overseas and by a slowing economy. The slowing economy leads to many businesses engaging in more sales calls in order to find new customers. Growing economies overseas will also create new markets that businesses will wish to reach.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median earnings sales managers were $97,260 in 2008. The highest paying industries were those in computer design and professional and commercial equipment, while the lowest paying industries were depository credit intermediation and department stores.
2016 Salary Information for Sales Managers
Sales managers earned a median annual salary of $117,960 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, sales managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $79,420, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $168,300, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 385,500 people were employed in the U.S. as sales managers.